Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

'Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.' ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Campbell slams 'putrid media'

Journalistic integrity: Campbell in combative mood...
Channel 4 reports...

'As Alastair Campbell tells the Leveson inquiry elements of the press have become 'putrid', a former investigator claims data chiefs refused to take action against newspapers on illegal information.

Mr Campbell, a former journalist, submitted 55 pages of written evidence to the inquiry on press standards, saying that whilst the "good journalists are still in the majority", competitive pressure are having a severe impact on media ethics.'

55 pages, eh? Not a bad effort. How many pages were there in the 'sexed-up' Iraq dossier on WMDs, though?

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that the Leveson inquiry into the behaviour of the press is being used to justify a future assault on its freedom to investigate anything Government does at all? I expect some MPs are still reeling from having their expenses claims documented in The Telegraph. The News of the World's actions were abominable but I get the general feeling that it is going to be used to muzzle the 'fourth estate' big time.

The Insanity of Sin

If Hitler had not done himself in and he had been put on trial, would the psychiatrists have been brought in to judge whether he was sane or insane when he ordered the killing of millions?

"It seems Adolph had issues surrounding his mother and perhaps an uneasy relationship with his father. We think that this may have disturbed his emotional development..."

You don't say! Are we moving 'beyond good and evil'? Isn't there a level on which every mass murderer could be designated as 'insane'? How does an investigation or a court come to the conclusion that someone was suffering 'psychosis' when they committed mass murder? Was Stalin just suffering from a 'psychotic episode'? Where do we stop? To my mind, which as we know is sometimes prone to eccentricities, declaring Breivik as someone who suffered acute psychosis or schizophrenia is a terrible insult to those who are genuinely mentally ill and who suffer from unwanted 'voices', delusions or illusions over which they have no personal control and the vast range of mental illnesses in existence.

I know a few people who suffer from schizophrenia. None of them have anything like the kind of terrible hatred that Breivik had for people he sees as 'unfit' to live. Even though they suffer greatly, they have an enormous amount of love and compassion for others. Some would do violence or injury to themselves, but they would never inflict anything like this on anyone else. Genuine schizophrenics are left to rot in their homes without care and to wander about the community trying to deal with their 'voices' and behaving very oddly in the eyes of the rest of society. They don't methodically shoot 69 people and orchestrate an intricate terror plot. Who else are we going to let off for being 'insane' or 'psychopathic' murderers? Shouldn't Tony Blair be in an asylum by now?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Equality Men

Equality man: There he goes...
It was Satan who first discovered that the idea of 'equality' was not all that it was cracked up to be.

Desiring 'equality' with God led to his expulsion from Heaven. In desiring 'equality' he lost God forever. In desiring 'equality' he became the chief adversary of God.

Similarly, the calls of advocates of 'gay marriage' for 'equality' make those who advocate it adversaries of marriage, the Church and even God Himself, since marriage was raised high to a Sacrament by Christ and it was ordained that a man and a woman be married 'since the beginning'. Even those using the language of 'equality' to endorse same sex civil unions are surely doing marriage and the Church a great disservice.

It is silly to discuss heterosexual marriage in terms of being 'better' than 'gay marriage'. It is simply the case that marriage by its very nature requires the couple to each be members of the opposite sex for the procreation of children, the transmission of new life. It is only in that relationship that children can be born. What hypocrisy there is concerning 'equality' in this country anyway! If people really advocate 'equality' then how come 90% of unborn downs syndrome babies are aborted in the UK.

Each person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity,  even equal dignity, for all are made in the image and likeness of God, but even then, it is only the Holy Father for whom one would genuflect on the left knee. We should only kiss the Episcopal rings of Bishops and Cardinals. We might not do it for bin men, but then we wouldn't do it for anyone who wasn't a Bishop, Cardinal or Pope. We call the Queen, Your Majesty.  We have a myriad of titles for Our Blessed Lady with which we honour her. There is clearly a hierarchy in Heaven, a hierarchy on Earth in the Church and outside of the Church, in authorities. Not everyone in the police force is a chief constable.  Not every Freemason is 33rd degree, which is why it is strange that so many of them must be forcing this stuff down the population's throats.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Blog Alert: 'Will You Mantilla With Me?'

Click here for a blog dedicated to the mantilla.

Channel 4's 'Dispatches' on the Exploitation of the Homeless by Landlords

A friend has told me that Jon Snow has produced a documentary with the Channel 4 Dispatches team uncovering the exploitation of the homeless in the United Kingdom, by companies and landlords who take the Council's money and leave their tenants in squalour. Long term readers will know this issue is close to my heart at the moment. If you want to watch it click here the friend has told me it is on next Monday at 8.00pm.

Courtesy of Channel 4
'As the numbers of the homeless rise, Dispatches goes undercover in the property rental market again to find out what really happens when you're without a roof over your ahead and desperate.
Local councils are supposed to look after you, but now the housing minister wants them to sort the problem by working with private landlords. But how suitable are the landlords they send you to? And what checks do councils make on the rooms they rent?
Jon Snow, with a team of undercover reporters, returns to investigate the reality of life for people at the mercy of private landlords, and finds families with young children sent by local authorities to live in filthy, bed bug-infested properties, while their rogue landlords make a fortune out of public money.
Have you been affected by the standard of your rental property? If you have a story about your housing situation and want to share it with Dispatches, you can email us at dispatches@channel4.co.uk.'

I know several people who would like to share their housing situation stories with Channel 4. I think I might send them an email. Exposing the cruel injustice of Baron Homes Corporation Ltd, Baron Estates, the Council and the Mears Group plc is well overdue.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Saying the Unsayable

Fr Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist at the Vatican
I like Fr Gabriel Amorth. I like the fact that he says things which he knows will be leapt upon the media and ridiculed.

I like the way he does not seem to care too much if others should think him foolish for being faithful to Christ.

I admire the fact that even though what he has said concerning Harry Potter and Yoga will appear to the World as bonkers, he is actually on the button.

He is an expert in his field, yet people will think they know better than he. Even though he has years of experience in dealing with the demonic and diabolical aspects of the spiritual realm, which in any other walk of life would give a person credibility when they speak out on a subject, people, even Catholics, will consider that his opinions concerning the promotion of witchcraft and 'self-enlightenment' in modern society to be eccentric.

I particularly like the fact that he is seemingly always pictured holiding a Blessed Crucifix, looking Heavenward for protection and help. I admire the fact that, even though he is held up to ridicule, he himself has probably liberated countless souls from the clutches of possession and from the snares of the Devil. He has, doubtless, by the physical possession of a person, come face to face with the vicious enemy of his and all of our souls.

Bishops and Priests speaking out about the ongoing and forthcoming cuts in welfare are right to express concern about the temporal welfare of the UK's poor. It is important that the poor are not abandoned by the State to a merciless World in which few real jobs actually exist in a time of deep recession.

That said, the Church is not an arm of the social services, She is the Body of Christ, the Ark of Truth and Salvation. Salvation! That is what we desire, even if appears at times, to ourselves and to others that we do not want it at all. If Bishops and Priests do not appear interested in saving souls then of what value will have been all of the justice and peace work?

When we read the statements of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster and they appear interchangeable with each other and Labour Party statements, we should be concerned that the spiritual welfare of the Church's flock is being neglected by our Shepherds and Priests.  May our Bishops and Priests never be afraid to appear as fools in the World's eyes, in remaining loyal and faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ. May they never be afraid to 'say the unsayable' and to proclaim the spiritual truths of the Holy Faith to bring men and women to repentance.

If, in a country which has fallen into such a spiritual abyss as England, we and our Priests and Bishops are not mocked, ridiculed or even despised by politicians and the people for preaching the Gospel, then we have to ask the question, why not and what has gone wrong? For we know that Our Blessed Lord told us that when the World speaks well of us, it is then that we are in our moment of greatest danger. I like Fr Amorth because he doesn't care who likes him. He's prepared to say things that will mean he will be mocked and derided.

I bid you farewell from Brighton for now, where I am battling on the front line, in my dressing gown and boxer shorts, but with only a Holy Rosary for a weapon. 'Pyjamahadeen' seems positively mild in comparison to the insults hurled at Fr Amorth! May God bless him, reward his courage and embolden also the Catholic Voices team never to fear appearing foolish to the World, for, to the children of the Devil, the children of God will always appear to be mad, bad, rad, trad, glad and dangerous to know. Go on Catholic Voices! Preach the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The power of Christ compels you!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Bishop Williamson's Going to Love This!

Priest bloggers recently gave wonderful accounts of a Bishop whose address to them melted hearts and brought pocket tissues out of jackets to dab eyes with sudden specks of dirt in them.

The then Mgr Mark Davies meet His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
In a Holocaust Memorial Day address yesterday (24 November) to an audience in gathered in Menorah Synagogue in Sharston, Manchester, Bishop Mark Davies warned all of us to be vigilant of ideologies that seek to destroy respect for the sacred and the human person.

I hear he has been known to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass as well. Oh, and he's having St John Vianney's incorrupt heart to the Diocese of Shrewsbury as well. Everybody in the back of the van! Deo gratias! Here is his address...

Courtesy of Independent Catholic News

'Thank you for your invitation to join you on this Holocaust Memorial Day. I have been asked in these opening words to address the importance of the Holocaust specifically for Christians and to thereby consider the theological significance of the Holocaust to the Christian mind.

As Blessed John Paul II expressed this, “no one is permitted to pass by the tragedy of the Shoah …” and no Christian can pass by the Holocaust without profound reflection. A Christian reflection might focus upon the mystery of evil, upon the sins of Christians and the need of repentance on the heartfelt prayer of Blessed John Paul II that our relationship “be healed for ever”. However, today in this short address I wish to focus upon the significance to the Christian mind of the attempted annihilation more than 60 years ago of that people who were called by the Lord, “before all others”.

I can only begin this reflection from silence, the silence often remarked upon at the scenes of the Holocaust where it is said the birds no longer sing. Four years ago I travelled with a group of Catholic priests to Auschwitz-Birkenau and my abiding memory will be of the silence which marked that day and continued in the group long into the evening. It is not only a human response to such horror but also as Pope Benedict described on his visit to that same camp in 2006: “To speak of this place of horror, in this place where an unprecedented mass crimes were committed against God and man, is almost impossible … In a place like this, words fail; in the end there can only be a dread silence …” It is a silence which must also mark this Holocaust Memorial Day. A silence which becomes in Pope Benedict’s words, a heartfelt cry to God which leads us to bow our heads before the endless number who suffered and were put to death and a plea to the living God that this must never happen again (28th May 2006).

We are painfully conscious that mass crimes, acts of genocide and cruelty on an unimaginable scale have continued to disfigure history. We think of the trial continuing today of the former rulers of Cambodia and we cannot forget the return of “eugenic” thinking directed against the unborn and the most vulnerable deemed “unfit to live” or threatened with “mercy killing.” The struggle against evil continues. Yet the Holocaust causes us in Blessed John Paul II’s words on his return to Poland in 1979: “to think with fear of how far hatred can go, how far man’s destruction of man can go, how far cruelty can go” (Mass at Brezeinka Concentration Camp 7th June 1979). “For the death camps,” he insisted, “were built for the negation of faith – faith in God and faith in man – to trample radically not only on love but on all signs of human dignity, of humanity. A place built on hatred and contempt for man …” And as he reflected as a now aged Pope on the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of the prisoners at Auschwitz in 2005, “may it serve today and for the future as a warning: there must be no yielding to ideologies which justify contempt for human dignity …”

As Christians we cannot fail to see that amidst all the victims of Nazism it was a chosen people who marked down for systematic and total destruction. Both Pope Benedict and Blessed John Paul point to the significance of this will to annihilate the people, “who draws its origin from Abraham, our father in faith” (Romans 4:12) to the people who in the words of the Apostle Paul, “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises …” (Romans 9:4-5).

Here I wish to share with you a story which was brought to my attention in a publication I was given Jerusalem earlier this year. It begins in the South Tyrol (a German-speaking region of Italy) in the last months of the Second World War. In the autumn of 1944 the remaining youth of the town all Catholics were conscripted into the collapsing armies of the Third Reich and in January of the following year despatched to the Eastern front under the command of SS officers. One boy, a medical orderly, finding his friend dead heard the officer sneer, “Now you may love your enemies; isn’t that what you were told by this Jew Jesus?” And he gave a courageous reply which he later realised flowed from his Christian faith and upbringing, “Yes, I love the Jews … they are the people of Jesus.” German soldiers were executed for lesser offences against Nazi ideology but somehow he survived amid the chaos of those days and became after the war a Catholic priest who dedicated much of his life to increasing understanding between the faith of Israel and the faith of the Church. As a teenager he had seen what Pope Benedict wishes to frequently reminds us as Christians that the Jewish people are “our fathers” in faith. “The people chosen by the Lord before all others to receive his word,” as the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares (CCC 839).

In this one, small incident in a barn on the Silesia in 1945 we see something of the hope which Pope Benedict expressed last year on his visit to the Synagogue of Rome that the memory of these events of the Holocaust “compel us to the strengthen the bonds that unite us so that our mutual understanding, respect and acceptance may always increase.” The Nazi reign of terror we recall today was based on a racist myth on an idolatry of race and state but as both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have reminded us it was also a radical rejection of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is, “the God of Jesus Christ and all who believe in him”. For “the Almighty” Hitler and the Nazis spoke of was a pagan idol as Pope Benedict declared in Berlin’s Reichstag Building in September this year This idol Pope Benedict said “wanted to take the place of the Biblical God, the Father and Creator of all men”. “By wiping out this people,” he had declared at Auschwitz, “they intended to kill the God who called Abraham, who spoke on Sinai and laid down principles to serve as a guide to mankind, principles that remain eternally valid.” And contemporary historians point to the logical intention of the National Socialist State rooted in this idolatry of man, of race, of the state to destroy not only the Jewish race but Christian morality and the faith of the Church.

For it strikes us as both Jews and Christians as to how the Holocaust so explicitly trampled on every one of the “The Ten Words” “The Ten Commandments” in a systematic eradication of morality: “you shall not kill,” “you shall not steal,” “you shall not bear false witness.” As Pope Benedict reflected with the Jewish community in Rome earlier this year, “the Ten Commandments call us to respect life and to protect it against every injustice and abuse, recognising the worth of each person, created in the image and likeness of God … Bearing witness together to the supreme value of life against all selfishness, is an important contribution to a new world where injustice and peace reign, a world marked by that “shalom” which the lawgivers, the prophets and sages of Israel longed to see.”

The study of the Holocaust must lead, as I have tried to suggest in this brief talk to a deeper appreciation of the close bonds between the Jewish people and Christians recognising our common roots and the rich spiritual patrimony we share. An ideology which grew at the centre of European civilisation sought to remove from the face of the earth in this Holocaust the people called by the Lord before all others. This must surely lead us to recognise every continuing assault upon the value and dignity of every human life and person and to recognise in this the denial of the Creator. This must call us to vigilance in the face of the developing ideologies and mindsets of our time so often hostile to the Judeo-Christian foundations on which our civilisation was built. So as Pope Benedict reflected on the memory of the Holocaust: “the past is never simply the past; it tells us the paths to take and the paths not to take.”

May the memory of this day, reflected upon by Christians and Jews, help all humanity to take those right paths. Amen.

The Lean, Mean, Keen, Straight-Talkin', Street-Fightin', Pyjamahadeen

Male blogging attire: And not a pyjama in sight...
Amid the war of words taking place within the Catholic realm of the new media, the label 'Pyjamahadeen' has been pinned on some Catholic bloggers.

Who would say something so nasty as he looks down his nose at those passionate enough to write about the Faith for free?

I believe this label is grossly unfair. Not only is it an imperious insult, from those who came up with it,  towards the Catholic blogging community, but it is a well known fact that Catholic bloggers loyal to the Magisterium and the Supreme Pontiff wear smoking jackets and boxers. The men, at any rate.

Don't worry. None of our smoking jackets are sourced from the Ivereigh Coast. I think there's a song here somewhere, but I should really resist...

Restoration News

Well, the Catholic reporters are still camped outside my flat. Today they shouted, "Mr England, tell us your thoughts on George Michael's tour cancellation due to pneumonia." So obviously, I shouted back, "May the Lord smile upon him like 'Jesus to a child' and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may he recover and find peace in devotion to the Mother of God," as any Catholic would.


Fr Blake today puts up some pictures of the work going on at St Mary Magdalen's. I have to say the Church is looking quite beautiful nowadays.

I'm sure the Vatican's Sacred Art and Liturgical Buildings Commission would be well pleased with what he is doing.

With so many Church buildings saying so little about the liturgical orientation and prayer of the Church it is a great joy to see a Church being 're-orientated', so to speak, to focus upon the beating Heart of the Faith - the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

It is truly astonishing what Fr Ray has done in such short time. Why not make his day and put some money in the Building Restoration Fund today. None of us, surely, want to appear before God and be asked the question, 'What did you do for My floor?'

If you don't put any money in the Restoration Fund, I'll be forced to write a song about it. Think about it people. Just think about it. Do you have any idea of just how hugely irritating I could become? So give today and make his day, especially any Herald readers out there. And remember kids, don't do drugs or botox.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Hold the Front Page!

Apparently, The Catholic Herald has covered my Summorum Pontificum song on its front page. On their website I can just make out the words, 'Blogger Hails Latin Mass on Folk Guitar'. Is it a folk guitar? I thought it was an acoustic guitar but then what does it matter? It's still an instrument from the pits of Hades!

Long live His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, gloriously reigning.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper in saecular saeculorum. Amen.

I won't let it go to my head... "Look everybody!"

Anyway, in other news, Fr Gabriel Amorth has suggested that the Harry Potter books and yoga are about as good and healthy for us spiritually as rock and pop music. He has a point. The Potter books encourage children to dabble in witchcraft and the occult. Witchcraft and the occult are about seeking power over people, time and places through mediums and spirits. Yoga teaches people that they are on the road to 'enlightenment' through the self when in fact the only light of the World is Lumen Christi.

Try telling that to Telegraph readers though.

I just got back home from St Mary Magdalen's Catechism Evening. Hoards of the Catholic press were camped outside my front door. Flippin' media! I'm going on that Leveson inquiry next week. Why don't they leave me in peace!?

"Mr England," they said, "give us your thoughts on the Eurozone crisis?!"

Obviously, I replied, "When the Eurozone returns to Our Lady, then Our Lady will return to the Eurozone!" 

Ah, the press lapped it up. Lapped it up, they did.

Resisting Catholic Voices

'But when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your opposers shall not be able to reply to or resist.'

Courtesy of John Smeaton, SPUC

'On Tuesday the Holy See (the universal government of the Catholic Church) made an excellent statement to a committee of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Among other things, the statement said that a proposed resolution on the girl child could:

"create a misleading impression that early pregnancy, per se, constitutes a health risk ... [W]hat is needed in such cases is prenatal and postnatal healthcare for the mother and her child, especially skilled birth attendants and appropriate emergency obstetric care, as enshrined in Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)."
In other words: abortion is not necessary when young girls become pregnant (something of which Archbishop Fisichella would do well to remind himself).

In a separate statement on the rights of the child the Holy See referred to parents thus (my emphasis in bold):
"[The Holy See] welcomes in this text the inclusion of the role of parents in the upbringing and development of girls, even though the prior and primary responsibility of their parents is not explicitly cited. In matters concerning the upbringing and development of the child, particularly in the area of attitudes and life skills, the measure of the best interests of the child is guaranteed by parental priority, as enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirmed in Article 18, 1, of the CRC. Without these guarantees, what stands between children and the coercive power of the State in those places where serious human rights violations could be inflicted against them?"
In other words, upholding the status of parents as the first and foremost educators of their children is absolutely essential to protect children generally from abortion, infanticide and the violation of their innocence by explicit sex education.

The statement finished with a direct reference to abortion - and a very important reference to condoms* (my emphasis in bold):
"The Holy See reaffirms its reservations with the Resolution, especially regarding its references to “sexual and reproductive health” since the Holy See does not consider abortion or abortion services to be a dimension of such terms and regarding the term “family planning” as the Holy See in no way endorses contraception or the use of condoms, either as a family planning measure or in HIV/AIDS prevention programmes."
The Holy See's statement echoes the statement by the Catholic bishops of Kenya last December (my emphasis in bold):
"We reiterate and reaffirm that the position of the Catholic Church as regards the use of condoms, both as a means of contraception and as a means of addressing the grave issue of HIV/AIDS infection has not changed and remains as always unacceptable."
The Holy See's statement is an official confirmation that the Catholic Church rejects the position taken by Dr Austen Ivereigh and Jack Valero, the coordinators of Catholic Voices, who have falsely claimed that:
  • "[U]rging a promiscuous infected person to at least use a condom ... is Catholic pastoral practice" (Dr Ivereigh)
  • "[Using a condom] might be the right and responsible thing to do in order to prevent infection" (Dr Ivereigh)
  • "[I]t is right for schools to teach how condoms help to reduce transmission of STDs." (Dr Ivereigh)
  • “[The Church has] never said that in a particular case it’s wrong to use a condom to protect somebody ... [T]he condom itself may be a good thing" (Mr Valero)
  • "[I]f in a particular case [church workers in Africa] think that a condom will protect then that may be OK" (Mr Valero).

Why Mixed Marriages Fail

A man walks into his front door through to the lounge where his wife meets him with furious eyes.

"Where have you been?" she asks shortly.
"I've just been at Church saying some prayers," he replies.
"You've been seeing her again haven't you?" his wife asks.
"What do you mean, I-"
"That woman!" she exclaims, "Oh, don't you worry, I know all about your little game! Yesterday, I spotted you going there with flowers for Heaven's sake. Flowers!? How much did they cost, eh?! You never buy me flowers!"
The man now on the defensive replies, "Yes, yes I did take her flowers. Nobody else buys her flowers nowadays so I did. She's a Queen! She deserves flowers!"
The wife becomes more agitated.
"A Queen is she? I see. So, she is the queen of your life and what am I? I suppose I'm just your hobby! And while we're on the subject, did you have a nice day at the office?"
"Yes, actually, work went very smoothly today, I think I'm in line for a promotion soon, thank you darling," the man replies, regaining his composure.
The wife walks up to him, face to face and digs inside his jacket pocket.
"Not that office! This Office!" staring at him accusingly.
"What?" he replies.
The wife reads out the introduction. "Seven times a day shall I praise you. Interesting, because you've never got a good word to say to me. I never hear you praise me."
"Have you lost your mind?" the husband says.
"No, but I should ask you the same question," says the wife. "Look, you get up in the morning and you're in the study praying to this woman. You go to work and on the train you're talking to this lady. You come home and go to the Church and give the woman flowers. At night you're on your knees before her asking her for help. Just where do I fit into all of this? I can't cope with it anymore."
"You're jealous of Our Lady?" he asks.
"Well it looks like there are three of us in this marriage," she replies. "So, come on. Out with it. What's she got that I haven't got?"
"What do you mean? She's got everything! She's perfect! She's the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, refuge of sinners and crowning glory of the Saints!" says the husband.
"What the-," says the wife.
"I know you don't understand it, darling. Shall we pray to her together?" he asks tentatively.
"Look," the wife replies, "its your religion and I don't want a part of it. I know its something that is important to you, but I can't cope with it anymore. It feels like I'm always in competition with her."
The husband tries another angle. "Look, this woman leads me to the Heart of Her Divine Son. For you, things can only be good as a result. Praying to her makes me kinder and more compassionate and things. I can't understand why you would object."
"Kinder, eh? More compassionate, eh? Well, next week I want some flowers," she demands.
"But I can only afford one bunch of flowers a week. They have to go to her. Anyway, darling, I'm saving up each week to take us on holiday" he replies.
"Oh, really. Oh darling that sounds wonderful." The wife begins to calm down.
"Yes, its a delightful little place in Portugal," the husband says, putting his hands around her waist.
"Oh darling, I can't wait. What's the place called?"
"Well, honey, its a beautiful little place called Fatima," he replies.
"Fatima...Oh it sounds delightful," says the wife as she walks over to the coffee table and picks up the husband's Office. She flicks through and out falls a prayer card which has been used as a bookmark. The wife reads it.
"Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis."
The husband, caught off guard, hurriedly says, "Now, darling, don't be mad. I can explain everything! It's not how it looks, I-."
"Gerry," the wife says, "I think I want a divorce."

Daily Mail Covers Australian Twin Abortion Tragedy

Click here for the Mail report on the 'distressing clinical incident' that cost the lives of two 32-week (8 months) old unborn children and leaves a mother utterly devastated and heartbroken.

'Distressing clinical incident'? For Pete's sake! What planet are these doctors and nurses inhabiting!? Call it what it is - a double tragedy for a mother and a father and the destruction of two innocent human lives!

I'd imagine its only 'distressing' because the World is waking up to the truth of what presumably takes place relatively frequently in Melbourne's hospital-cum-execution centre for the 'unfit'!

I heartily and absolutely disagree with the decision of the parents to go ahead with this terrible choice, but, that said, I still hope they sue this infant death-centre to Kingdom come. What do doctors have to do to get struck off nowadays? Actually, what do doctors have to do to get put inside for murder?

What's the point in having such an amazing looking hospital if with all that you can't be arsed to give such improved resources, technology and advancements in medical care to a little baby with a heart defect? The real 'heart defect' belongs surely to those in the business of killing little children! How wrong does the World have to get it on this issue to realise that the Church is right?

'Just a clump of cells': A 32-week born baby
By the way, are the mainstream press whitewashing the fact that these unborn children were aborted 32 weeks into the pregnancy? The Mail report doesn't say it, if it did before, Lifesitenews does, however. The BBC report also confirms it. We should pray for all concerned.

There are a couple of comments on the Mail article from women who have been offered 32-week abortions for babies with cleft palate, a perfectly operable condition. For those wondering how doctors can do this it is always worth recalling that Josef Mengele was a doctor too.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Modernity Turns the Gospel on Its Head

Fr Ray Blake's post, 'Contrasts', on Pugin's sketches of the industrial age compared to the pre-industrial age is fascinating.

As well as the liturgical 'progress' documented by Pugin, the most telling sketch is that of the poor houses of his age compared to the monastic servants of the poor in the 'bad old days'.

It documents quite well how the nature of loving and humble service made a shift from the Church's own view - that the wealthy serve the poor and find within that service salvation - to the new paradigm in which the poor serve the rich and find in it their unfortunate enslavement.

It is almost as if, liturgically and societally, the Pugin documents the Gospel, in the industrial age, being turned upon its head.

While I wish to God that Archbishop Vincent Nichols would be as vocal in currently vital areas of Catholic teaching, his recent remarks concerning the nature of the cuts are still important.  Yesterday, I met a friend who claims that his jobseekers allowance has been cut. He is now on 'hardship fund'. This is the result of sanctioning from the DWP. Yet, he claims, the sanctioning he is experiencing (which amounts to a cut to his benefits of £20 a week until March) is the result of his having applied for work! I asked him how the DWP could sanction someone for looking for work and applying for it. He said he doesn't understand it either, but that is exactly what has happened, saying he would show me the letter.

He now gets £45 a week. £20 a week of that he has to give to his landlord for the 'top up charge' for where he lives. That means that he is living off £25 a week to cover his food, electricity, bills etc. Other people I know who are sick or mentally ill are being called in to Atos Healthcare to be assessed, yet there are claims that these assessments are rigged anyway because the company who won the contract have to get 40% of people on sick benefit off of it. That started under Labour by the way. I heard a story from one guy I know who lives in a block in Hove with many people on sick benefit that people with mental health problems are literally committing suicide because of their benefits being cut. It sounds crazy but these people are not totally sane, are they? They're easily sent over the edge.

No doubt, workfare, if it is not already in existence, will be on the way quite soon, in which the poor will be forced to work for companies for half of the minimum wage to ensure that they 'contribute to society'. All of this is condemned by the left, of course, but this kind of economic exploitation of the poor is also condemned by Holy Mother Church.

Cuts will hit the vulnerable hard...but is it the State's' duty to provide?
Part of the problem is that the State has taken on so much and the Church's wealth and power has declined, leaving a large vacuum when the State no longer feels it can support the poor financially.  In days gone by the Church had a great deal of land and a great deal of money. Nowadays, parishes are themselves begging just to be able to ensure their roofs aren't leaky for the next 20 years. There is very little left over in Dioceses for almshouses or monastic communities whose work consists in the service of the very poor and sick. If ever I had a vision of what the Occupy movement should be, it would be just that. Groups of men, preferably Catholics, washing the feet of the poor, clothing them and feeding them outside St Paul's, outside Wall Street, and outside the King and Queen pub in Brighton. That would be an explicit gesture of exactly what kind of society of which the Occupy movement are dreaming. Joking with one man I know there I said it was all very good but, "Where is the friar? You must be requiring a Priest too, to say Mass for your cause?". I'm going to start sending paupers their way soon, as personally, I'm brassic.

I do worry that the Archbishop is too ideologically attached to the left to look for other avenues for the assistance of the poor than more State help. The State can't organise a p**s up in a brewery. It only knows how to take the beer away. Once benefits are cut, they will never be raised again. Ultimately, this is a society that is fragmenting and breaking down all across the spectrum of wealth. Those who have money behind them will survive the coming storm, but the poor will be left out to dry. Attacking the Government over this is one thing, but even Government has a point that their own kitty is running dry amid trillions of debt.

What the Church should perhaps be saying is that if the rich want to show mercy, empty themselves, and their pockets, and come to the aid of the poor, then they are free to do so and that now is the time. If parishes and Dioceses want to start food banks and receive donations from the rich then there is nothing to stop them. It is important to remember that the Church, since Her inception has always held communism in high esteem - its just that for the Church, communism has to be entirely voluntary. This is, after all, the communism that St Francis of Assisi held aloft for the whole Church and World to see. It is State communism that She has always condemned because it always robs human beings of freedom.

Homicide, Fratricide, Deicide, Regicide, Suicide, Patricide, Matricide, Feticide...

Rorate and Fr Tim have both drawn our attention to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists and their frank admission that abortion amounts to murder because that's what descriptions of taking of life that end in '-cide' are.

Own goal? I would say so...

'Recommendation 6.21:

Feticide should be performed before medical abortion after 21 weeks and 6 days of gestation to ensure that there is no risk of a live birth [...] failure to perform feticide could result in a live birth and survival, which contradicts the intention of the abortion.'

Pelerin drew my attention to this article highlighted at Maria Stops Abortion which includes another horrific dimension to the horror that is abortion. Heaven help us all.

Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Dominic Mary

Quite recently it struck me that at some point one of the English speaking Catholic blogging community is going to die.

I don't mean this in a 'prophetic' sense, since we are all going to die, but that one day we would hear news of it and be greatly saddened.


Mulier Fortis today posts on the death of Dominic Mary, a Catholic blogger who died of a terminal brain tumour.

Remember him in your prayers. I'm pretty sure I met him once when he came to St Mary Magdalen's.

Gem of the Ocean, with whom Libera Me fell in love and to whom he was married has more news of the sad passing of a fellow Catholic blogger. Pray for him and pray also for her. Gem courageously cared for Dominic during the last months of his life in what can only have been a period of bodily suffering for him. Gem says...

'There doesn't seem like there's much for me to celebrate this year.  But there is.  I had Q for exactly a year and a day.  Never once did Q complain of having the cancer.  He'd get frustrated because he had a harder and harder time communicating.  Nominative aphasia, they called it.  I think I got to be with a saint in the making, and I thank God for that gift.'
 
Looking at Dominic's profile, it seems he also set up the blog site for the Sodality of St Tarcisius, the LMS's society for altar servers dedicated to learning and serving the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as a blog dedicated to encouraging the Laity to say the Divine Office, entitled re: The Divine Office. Ironically, the latest post on the Sodality of St Tarcisius is on praying for the living and the dead as members of the Society.

Prayer for the Living and the Dead


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui vivorum dominaris simul et mortuorum, omniumque misereris, quos tuos fide et opere futuros esse praenoscis: te supplices exoramus; ut, pro quibus effundere preces decrevimus,
quosque vel praesens saeculum adhuc in carne retinet, vel futurum jam exutos corpore suscepit, intercedentibus omnibus Sanctis tuis, pietatis tuae clementia omnium delictorum suorum veniam consequantur. 
Almighty and everlasting God, who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and hast mercy on all whom Thou foreknowest shall be Thine by faith and works: we humbly beseech Thee that all for whom we have resolved to make supplication, whether the present world still holds them in the flesh, or the world to come has already received them out of the body, may, through the intercession of all Thy saints, obtain of Thy goodness and clemency pardon for all their sins.
(Collect Pro Vivis et Defunctis, Roman Missal)

May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest.

I get the distinct impression from his blog that if you are going to pray for him, he would like your prayers to be in Latin. Requiescat in pace.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Crackdown on Ugly Churches

"Is there life on Mars?/Whoah-oh..."
Happy St Cecila's Day. Ora pro nobis. I'm sure she despises both rock and protest songs.

The Catholic Herald today draws our attention to an article by Andrea Tornielli on a new Vatican commission being set up to combat the rise of ugly modern Church buildings. There are so many images on Google from which one could choose, aren't there?

What a glorious monument to modernism they are...

'A team has been set up, to put a stop to garage style churches, boldly shaped structures that risk denaturing modern places for Catholic worship. Its task is also to promote singing that really helps the celebration of mass. The “Liturgical art and sacred music commission” will be established by the Congregation for Divine Worship over the coming weeks. This will not be just any office, but a true and proper team, whose task will be to collaborate with the commissions in charge of evaluating construction projects for churches of various dioceses. The team will also be responsible for the further study of music and singing that accompany the celebration of mass.

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Benedict XVI, consider this work as “very urgent”. The reality is staring everyone in the eyes: in recent decades, churches have been substituted by buildings that resemble multi purpose halls. Too often, architects, even the more famous ones, do not use the Catholic liturgy as a starting point and thus end up producing avant-garde constructions that look like anything but a church. These buildings composed of cement cubes, glass boxes, crazy shapes and confused spaces, remind people of anything but the mystery and sacredness of a church. Tabernacles are semi hidden, leading faithful on a real treasure hunt and sacred images are almost inexistent. The new commission’s regulations will be written up over the next few days and will give precise instructions to dioceses. It will only be responsible for liturgical art, not for sacred art in general; and this also goes for liturgical music and singing too. The judicial powers of the Congregation for Divine Worship will have the power to act.

As is known, last 27 September, Benedict XVI transferred jurisdiction of two areas, from the Congregation for the Divine Worship to the Rota Romana (the Holy See’s Court of Appeal), under the motu proprio Quaerit simper...'

For full article click here.

Purgatory

If by God's great mercy we go to Purgatory, is our tenure there because of our offenses against the Divine Justice or is it because we were not humble and docile enough to the Holy Spirit to pray, in times of temptation and, indeed, at all times?

Sin is repulsive to God and His Justice demands that we make reparation in the next life for our sins. However, I'm just wondering whether we really go to Purgatory for our offenses, when surely the root of all our sins is our neglect of humble prayer which is the source of friendship with God and the only source of any obedience to His will.

Surely, if there were any way to avoid the pains of Purgatory, we would seek ways in which to do so, even though our nature is perverse and we can choose to abandon prayer, the very life of the spirit. It is this freedom of the will that means that we can obtain salvation at the last or our perdition. We are inclined to push God to the periphery of our existence but the Catholic Faith teaches us that it is by no means impossible for us to become true men and women of prayer and to 'pray without ceasing'.

One gets the impression from the lives of the Saints that their whole existence was powered by prayer from the rising of the sun to its setting. I am gradually getting more disciplined at saying morning and night prayer, but, in between, as anyone who has been reading the blog the past day or two will be able to tell, it is a Haily Mary there and an Our Father there. It is all very sporadic, hence my asking advice about the Office. Those I know who pray the Office emanate an inner peace and quiet confidence in God. The examples of the Saints show us that they are not so much 'supermen' but humble men who learned to rely no longer on themselves at all, having discovered their different weaknesses, but instead entrusted themselves to God's love and providence at every moment.

St Augustine of Hippo tells us that our hearts can have no rest until they rest in God. This is our daily experience and yet there are some whose love for God leads them into a deep life of prayer - it is that prayer that becomes the driving force of their love, their thoughts, words and actions. I don't doubt that we go to Purgatory to 'serve time' for our offenses. Neither am I suggesting 'sinlessness' is something with which we are graced or that we shall obtain within this life.  However, I know men and women of great, frequent and fervent prayer and they are inspirational, not necessarily in what they do, but in who and what they are. Their great love for God is borne out of their humilty and perhaps constant awareness of their own dependence on God in perhaps every waking hour.  They are those who can say, 'It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me'.

Saints teach us that faith is caught, not taught and that the 'just shall live by faith'.  Saints go to Heaven really because of their intimate friendship with God, a friendship which is nourished and nurtured through prayer. We can do nothing of ourselves and it is this friendship that leads to 'good works' which, without faith and prayer, become empty and devoid of the love in which they find meaning. If we should desire the things of Heaven, then we must be willing to accept poverty of heart and dependence on God. Whenever I fall into grave sin, one of the first things I think is, 'I should have prayed, hang on, I could have prayed'. I wonder if the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for whom we should pray, think that too.

So, as is obvious, I am not actually very good at praying, but I'm becoming more aware of the fact that, as the Catechism teaches, 'It is always possible to pray'. For those who are admit they are stubborn-hearted, like I, then this truth of the Faith should be encouraging. It is, always and at all times, everywhere, wherever we are, whatever we are doing, it is always possible to pray, even if our nature is so perverse that we can go nearly a whole day without conversing with or petitioning God. How strange we are and what a great mystery Faith is. And I will admit it. Even now I am thinking, 'Yes, I will, yes, I will, after this blog post, as if this blog post is more important than prayer!'

Monday, 21 November 2011

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly...



I'd like to dedicate this song to all those named in it. I hope this does not offend those of the faithful who were recruited to the CV project because it isn't aimed at them. This song is about how many are 'called' but few are 'chosen' in the Church.

Apparently His Grace, the Archbishop of Westminster, has expressed his 'disappointment' over the Government's plans to redefine marriage. Isn't 'disappointed' how you feel when you don't get a job or when Arsenal slip to 6th in the league or something?

Catholic Voices

Catholic Voices?
What’s that?
On the TV and the radio
Its sounding flat

Oh they’ve all been media trained
But there’s something they lack
You don’t need a script to tell the truth

Where’s Paul Priest, James Preece, me and Mac?
We enjoyed the Papal Visit oh but looking back
It would have been nice to tell the media that
‘We love the Pope and have you got a problem with that?’

We got Austen
We got Jack
Oh but smooth operators don’t win any Souls back
You need some people who love the Faith and Pope and don’t hold back
Why were we left out?
Do they think we’re deranged?

Catholic voices!
O Can you hear them?
O Catholic voices!
Where are they when you need them?
Catholic Voices!
We’re limited in choices, dear
Whooah oh
Catholic voices!
O Can you hear them?
O Catholic voices!
Where are they when you need them?
Catholic Voices!
We’re limited in choice this year
Whooah oh

Magic Circle?
What’s that?
It’s the management of the Church by liberal Bishops and
The choices of the new appointees on the terna that
Is given to the Nuncio

So what’s up with that?
The chance of getting men who are loyal to the Pope is fat
Holy, potential Bishops ignored like leprotic cats
Do they think that this is some kind of game?

Catholic voices!
O Can you hear them?
O Catholic voices!
Where are they when you need them?
Catholic Voices!
We’re limited in choices, dear
Whooah oh
Catholic voices!
O Can you hear them?
O Catholic voices!
Where are they when you need them?
Catholic Voices!
We’re limited in choice this year
Whooah oh

Ah well
Who knows whats down the road?
Maybe 'Gay Masses' will appear in the heart of Soho
If they continue we’ll be told to hold our tongue, you know
And we’re the ones labelled insane!

Catholic Voices?
What’s that?
It’s a way of sidelining critics of liturgical tat
And vocal critics of Episcopal choices that
Have led to the decline of the Faith!

Catholic voices!
O Can you hear them?
O Catholic voices!
Where are they when you need them?
Catholic Voices!
We’re limited in choices, dear
Whooah oh
Catholic voices!
O Can you hear them?
O Catholic voices!
Where are they when you need them?
Catholic Voices!
We’re limited in choice this year
Whooah oh

(Repeat)

We're limited in choices this year
We're limited in choices this year
We're limited in choices this year
We're limited in choices this year

We Can't Talk to Young People About Salvation...



...but we can sing about it.

The good news is the message of Salvation. The bad news is that over in Italy, as Rorate Caeli reports, even the dead are still being denied a funeral in the traditional Rite and that, as Linen on the Hedgrow reports, West Wales is about to lose its only Traditional Latin Mass. Let's do as he asks and pray a Rosary for its continuation. Meanwhile, here is an anonymous Catholic law student who attends the Traditional Latin Mass rapping. You can't hear all the vocals but you get the general gist. He talks about sin and Salvation too...It must just be Bishops who don't believe it can really be discussed, then...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Little Office of Our Lady

A friend of mine from Church prays the Divine Office everyday at those times during the day when he can, since he works. As some might have guessed, one thing I lack in my life is discipline and I have a copy of The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I don't know why but it keeps looking at me and making me feel guilty. It is there on a desk and it is not being prayed.

The friend kindly showed me the basics of how to pray it, it is in both Latin and English and I'd like to try but I'm a total beginner and I feel a little out of my depth even opening it up. I suppose anything alien to us is going to make us a little apprehensive.

If I were to pray it tonight, I would pray 'Compline' right? Maybe its like swimming in the sea and you've just got to jump in, otherwise going waist deep with your arms in the air is more painful.

How long does it take to pray one part of the day's office? For some reason it appeals to me because of the word 'little'.  I'd be interested in comments from people who already pray it especially those who believe it has helped them in their prayer. Is it like a replacement for the Rosary or do people pray both?

Across Universae Ecclesiae



As promised...The tune sounds quite familiar, but I just can't 'imagine' where I've heard it before.

Across Universae Ecclesiae

Prayers rise from the Faithful
Like the incense rises from the Altar
As is written
All Across
Universae Ecclesiae
Contrite hearts and consolation
Together Ad Orientem
The Choir sings the Kyrie

Eleison

Oh

Mass alone can change the World
So save the liturgy and save the World
The Mass alone can change the World
So save the liturgy and save the World

Tender mercy invites us
To wonder at His Majesty
The Love that's written
All Across
Universae Ecclesiae
Priest mediates for the Faithful
Stands in persona Christi
The Choir sings the Gloria

In excelsis Deo

Oh

Mass alone can change the World
So save the liturgy and save the World
The Mass alone can change the World
So save the liturgy and save the World

Priest announces Verbum Domini
Thurifer, torches and MC
Is written all across
Universae Ecclesiae
Acolytes and Priest you see they genuflect upon the knee
The Gospel Acclamation peels

Allelulia

Oh

Mass alone can change the World
So save the liturgy and save the World
The Mass alone can change the World
So save the liturgy and save the World

Recollect the Lord of Lords will condescend
Disguised as bread and wine
Upon the Altar
All Across
Universae Ecclesiae
Priest utters Ineffable and holy words of Consecration
The Sacrifice of Calvary

Agnus dei qui tollis

Oh

Tollis peccata mundi
Tollis peccata mundi
Tollis peccata mundi

'Oh good there's no Sign of Peace'

Deo gratias
Deo gratias
Deo gratias
Deo gratias
Deo gratias
Deo gratias


And remember. NOBODY is bigger than Jesus! Meanwhile, I found this comment on Rorate amusing...


Beryl said...
Sorry, but when I tried to play this song on Fr Blake's website I could not understand a word because of the bad enunciation of the singer. Inaudible! I thought it was rot. Having read the words via Rorate Caeli's link I wish they had not been set to 'music' but left as they were. The appearance of the singer also irritated me.

That's the price of fame in the traditional Catholic World's new media. They build you up only to knock you down. I'm getting an injunction out on this Beryl character!

Occupy Brighton: Up to Date Reportage on the Most Limp-Wristed Revoution in History

I don't want to be on X Factor. Why would I when I'm on Rorate Caeli!? It doesn't get bigger than that in the traditional Catholic World!

If anyone wants a copy of the song below, by the way, I have home recording software on my computer and a copy is yours for just £2.49, yes, that's right, just £2.49, by which time I'll have got around to the elaborate sax solo and the difficult B-side, Across the Universae Ecclesiae.

Anyway, more reportage from the Occupy Brighton camp tonight, where I've been choosing love over fear in what has to be the most limp-wristed revolution in history. Not that its just a Brighton thing. This kind of not-in-the-slightest-bit-offensive, very confused protest is now going global. I don't know what is amiss with it, its just I can imagine Che Guevara walking into the 'occupied territory' on the Victoria Gardens strip, wondering why he'd even bothered learning about dialectical and historical materialism, throwing his kalashnikov into the fountain and walking off in a huff. They were even worried about making noise after 11pm because the landlord of the King and Queen pub had told them he'd made a complaint about noise to the Council because his baby daughter wasn't sleeping well. So, in a spirit of true civil rebellion, the camp complied because they don't want the Council to get complaints. "Let's not storm the Winter Palace tonight, boys, we might wake the children!"

That's not to pour scorn on the resolve or idealism of the protesters. Most, though by no means all, are quite young, naive and just want to see the World be a nicer place in which niceness prevails over political corruption, corporate greed and the inordinate love of money. That's right! Just £2.49!

This evening there were about ten of us around the campfire. Guitars were released from their cases and played, though I must say I did not have the courage to play any of my own material ("Summorum what?") It was only when I walked home with a friend that we discussed the reality of the Occupy situation and that, in fact, despite the presence of between 20-25 tents on the site, only ten people were around all night. I asked my friend whether anyone might have gone to bed early and he said, "No, they're empty, mate." I spent a good hour trying to catch up with an incredibly competent guitarist as he negotiated his way through a series of intricate song arrangements with chords that I have never seen.  There was a truly cringeworthy moment (yes another one) when I played along to him playing 'Another Brick in the Wall' for which I shall have to answer on the Last Day. 

Credit where it is due, though, for the Occupy Movement is not, from what I can see, rejecting the homeless. I talked to one man by the campfire who has been homeless in Brighton quite a long time and who apparently goes on the Soup Run by the Peace Statue. He has a tent and sleeps in the Occupy camp and he's grateful for it because in his words, 'it is the only just rent system in Brighton'. He has a point. We discussed how much housing benefit St Patrick's Nightshelter take from the Council in terms of public money and how even more rapacious corporate scumbags like Baron Homes Corporation Ltd plunder the misery of the homeless at 17/19 Grand Parade and use the money to help sister organisation, Baron Estates, acquire a vast portfolio of property at home and abroad.

He says that every hostel and temporary homeless accommodation place he has been offered from the Council he has refused and walked away. Why? Because they are all s**tholes, squalid dives of places where you literally have to be on drugs in order to stay there, in order to stay sane. He was particularly scathing of St Patrick's Hostel, where all he found in his room was a messed up rubber mattress and a sink covered in blood! All of these places charge a top-up of between £10 and £20 a week even though it is obvious both charities and businesses in the tramp-farming trade could do well without it.

So, he prefers to sleep rough and has done for a long time. He isn't on smack, crack, Jack Daniels or even Scrumpy Jack. He chooses to live as a rough sleeper because he has seen all there is to see of Brighton's accommodation for the homeless and life is genuinely more pleasant and safe outside.  He even camped out for a while near 'millionaires row' where Brighton's celebrities reside, like Fat Boy Slim a.k.a Norman Cook, who started out in The Housemartins and went on to become a very rich local DJ.

All he did was camp on the beach near the millionaires and lit a campfire, slept out there with a placard demonstrating against Brighton's squalid and corrupt hostels system and the millionaires called the police on him and made repeated efforts to have him removed from the beach!  Nice! God forbid that millionaires should see such eyesores as the homeless outside their windows! All I can say is, thank God the Occupy Brighton people let him sleep in his tent there and he has a nice fire he can warm himself by. Good on them!

Meanwhile, please pray that I will not be possessed by the spirit of '68, or if I am, to be exorcised of it soon so that I do not join these young idealistic children of the revolution in their fight against enemies both 'visible and invisible'. Say a prayer for them. They mean well. One of them even works at Domestic and General. The homeless man said that this camp is being treated very leniently and that if the homeless had tried this camp city (yes I know its already a camp city) then police with batons and tasers would have been in before the fire could be stoked.

The idealistic young people will most likely eventually quit the camp within the year (that's the 99% of them who do have flats) and ten or twenty years down the line vote Conservative. The 1% of the camp that is genuinely homeless are the real deal. Their stories, I believe, should be reported more. Aside from that, I think that the Occupy movement is just an excellent excuse for young left-wing people to feel 'good', chat, make friends and sing songs by a campfire like, presumably, their parents did. I came home to my nice warm flat, ate some nice warm pate on warm toast, had a nice hot cup of tea and now I'm going to my nice warm bed. Tomorrow morning, like many of the radicals of Occupy up and down the country, I'll have a nice warm shower, some nice warm lunch after Mass and maybe pop over tomorrow evening to chat with them again to warm myself by the fire like St Peter denying his Lord. Gosh, now this is what I call my kind of a revolution! I get to keep living as I have been and watch the World change before my very eyes! Right, bedtime, but first I'm going to listen to the proper Catholic legend, Bruce Springsteen, one more time. "Tramps like us, baby we were born to ruuuuuuuuuun!" Incredible...

One last thought on Occupy. Somehow, we have to communicate to the Occupy movement that with only one or two exceptions, great mass movements that push God to the periphery or exclude Him are either doomed to fail or result in some kind of tyranny.  St Francis of Assisi and Blessed Theresa of Calcutta show us that we can only change the World for the better when we ask for Divine Help and when we are servants of God, rather than masters of human affairs. If all men and women in Parliament and the banking industry served God, then our current climate, let's face it, may perhaps be a little different.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Ballad of Summorum Pontificum



As promised...

The Ballad of Summorum Pontificum

It was the 7th July 2007
“The most beautiful day
This side of Heaven”

A treasure was released
The Mass of all Ages
The Missal was closed
Now a Priest turns the pages

So we kneel down and pray the Confiteor
Now he’s facing the right way, towards the Lord
Ad Deum quit laetificat juvemtutem meum
He turns around and the people say give us some more!

For over 50 years
A Mass that lay hidden
Came out of the closet
No moth there had bitten

No dust was upon it
For this Mass is timeless
You can tell when you walk through the door!

You can hear the bells ring out thrice at the Sanctus
He turns around and he says "Orate Fratres"
Priest and people pray Domine non sum dignus
And the people say give us some more

Some more
Summorum Pontificum!
Gimme some more, some more
Gimme some more
Some more
Summorum Pontificum!
Gimme some more, some more, give us some more!

Ecce Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi
Now we can hear the words ring out
Every Sunday
The Latin Mass is back
Put your guitars on the floor
We have Communion kneeling and on the tongue

All ages they pass
All ages they vary
The Mass of Ages belongs
In our seminaries

Our Bishops they don’t want it
Oh if only they could
Say “God bless our Pope
The great and the good!”

Some more
Summorum Pontificum!
Gimme some more, some more
Gimme some more
Some more
Summorum Pontificum!
Gimme some more, some more
Gimme some more!

The Mass that brings sinners
To the Fountain of grace
The Mass that made martyrs
Embrace their pains
The Mass that brought hope
To the poor and abandoned
Finding in Jesus (bow head)
The perfect Companion
But that Mass is back (back)
To liberal dismay
That Mass is back (back)
To liberal dismay
That Mass is back (back)
To liberal dismay
That Mass is back (back)
You might find one today!

Some more
Summorum Pontificum!
Gimme some more, some more
Gimme some more
Some more
Summorum Pontificum!
Gimme some more, some more
Gimme some more!
(Repeat x 2)

It was the 7th July 2007
“The most beautiful day
This side of Heaven”

Friday, 18 November 2011

News of Great Joy

It's back! And not before time!

Fr Ray Blake has announced a new, weekly, traditional Latin Mass is to be celebrated every Sunday at 9am at St Mary Magdalen Church.

You heard it here first! Though it is possible you heard it here first.

That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill: Among the first to bring you breaking news in the traditional Catholic world. To document the liberation of the Traditional Latin Mass secured by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, I have penned a new song which will be appearing on this blog over the weekend.

Occupy and Christ the King

I spent half an hour talking with a few of the people at the Occupy Brighton tents in Victoria Gardens near the Pavillion last night. I've been reading some of Tim Stanley's reports from Occupy New York and wanted to get a gist of what the movement is about in Brighton.

I have to say that, like what I have read about Occupy in London and elsewhere, the aims and ideals of the movement appear inchoate and vague. The occupiers just have this general feeling that 'something' is wrong. There's a real sense of a 'democratic deficit' which is already present nationally even if the undemocratic European nightmare still staggers on. There's the firm conviction that unbridled capitalism is producing rotten fruits, but when has it ever produced notably good fruits?

Talking to one man who was there to give a talk tomorrow to the occupiers, I said that protesting against capitalism was a bit like protesting against Original Sin. There is grave injustice in the World, the greed of people at the top of society makes greed seem even worse and avarice even more ugly than it is for the rest of us, even though we are guilty of the same faults, because the impact on the rest of society is disproportionately large.

Certainly in Brighton, even though it is being organised by anarchists, there is something peaceable and communitarian about them. There was a homeless man or two hanging around with a dog, a load of tents, some small, some big, the number of which has been steadily increasing after three weeks. I arrived after the community had had their general assembly. They have the full support of seemingly the Council, the police and Caroline Lucas MP in their expression of peaceful non-conformism and protest. To my surprise, they weren't all middle class idlers (like myself) but some were poor and noticeably so. There was even a picture of the Divine Mercy with the words of Our Lord at the Last Judgment ("I was hungry and you...") plastered over the main tent. I couldn't help thinking that Dorothy Day might have considered residing here and using it as a base to protest against society's reluctance to adopt Catholic social teaching and to gather stories for her Catholic Worker. I was told that some of the occupiers even work and come back in the evening.

This Sunday, in the new calendar at least, it is the Feast of Christ the King and I wonder whether I might print off a copy of two of Quas Primas and give it to the occupiers. In it, Pope Pius XI writes...

'If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation.'

Brighton, however, does not appear to be a place in which any form of radicalism takes off. It is still too pre-occupied with itself and its own image. The number of radicals in Brighton is small (is it 1%, I wonder?) and most Brightonians, especially the youth, are probably still more concerned with the pleasures of the World, bars, nightlife, clothes, having fun, having sex, getting drunk, taking drugs etc. It was noticable that the occupiers have a sign saying 'No drink or drugs by law' on the entrance to the camp, because obviously they don't want to give the police an excuse to close them down and street drinking is illegal in Brighton. I did wonder whether it was also to keep some people out of the camp. While I was there, one man, dressed in an army uniform came in and introduced himself as someone who could help with 'security' for the camp. He had apparently helped out with 'security' in London. Presumably he was some kind of Che Guevara type. I later heard that there is no 'security' at the camp because it sounds too oppressive. Instead, there are 'tranquility' teams who go around, enforcing 'tranquility'! How very Brighton! 


"You appear distressed and argumentative, dear. Would you like a herbal tea and some aromatherapy to help you relax? No? I see....Reiki?"

There are quite a few tents there in Victoria Gardens but, in all honesty, the protest looks a little small and almost totally inoffensive. Protest movements have moved on from the bloodthirstiness of the Russian revolution presumably because of men like Ghandi and Martin Luther King who won acclaim and respect for their goals through peaceful protest and non-violence. That seems to be the model for even a group dominated by the hard left. 

The occupiers, seemingly a mixture of relatively young to not as young, are a community forged out of confusing times when economic and political corruption have met and entwined. There is a sense that people have no voice or stake in society and that 'something must be done'. They don't know what should be done, but neither do any of us, all we know is that society is 'tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation'. I asked one of the occupiers how long this protest would last. He replied, 'As long as it takes to make a change, so if necessary, forever.'  Thank God, they have a fire to see them keep them warm over winter. I must say, if there was a small group of Catholics there representing the Church, I would consider joining them. We could Catholicise the group from the inside with Rosary by firelight, guitars and the rest. Unfortunately, I'm getting a bit old for such things. I need to get a job and pronto. I'd like to settle down, get married and start a family, which, let's face it, in Brighton, is the most revolutionary thing one can do.

Perhaps we could all donate some money and buy them a nativity scene for over Christmas?

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